Skip to comments.PBS Star Ken Burns Bashes Palin: 'Supremely Unqualified...American Idol' Pick
Posted on 09/23/2008 12:32:52 PM PDT by pissant
From Reuters and the Hollywood Reporter comes news that PBS filmmaker Ken Burns used a New York panel discussion preceding the news and documentary Emmy Awards as a forum to denounce the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, as proof the selection process devolved "into a high school popularity contest and an American Idol competition" and insisted "in the whole history of the republic there has been no one with as thin a credential" as Palin.
The reporter on this story, Paul J. Gough, treated Burns as an eminence and not as a partisan liberal who endorsed Obama in December 2007. He also completely ignored that Burns made a sappy tribute film to Sen. Ted Kennedy for last months Democratic convention in Denver, and then went on MSNBC to tout him as an "amazing, amazing man." At the same event, CBSs Bob Schieffer insisted the media coverage of Palin was fair, and that "It seems to me that some would suggest we should just accept on faith that Sarah Palin is qualified."
Gough reported that Burns declared at Fordham University:
"He (McCain) selected someone who is so supremely unqualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, and he has turned the selection process into a high school popularity contest and an 'American Idol' competition," Burns said. He said that McCain made a "cynical" pick in what he said was the most important decision of his presidential candidacy.
Burns, whose body of work has focused on American history, said that "in the whole history of the republic there has been no one with as thin as a credential" as Palin. He said it was, for McCain, a "Hail Mary pass" that will be decided in November.
Burns, who became famous due to a ponderously long documentary series on the Civil War, surely knows Abraham Lincoln had four terms in the Illinois House and one term in the U.S. House of Representatives not unlike the experience of Sen. Barack Obama.
Jill Zuckman of the Chicago Tribune reported the Burns endorsement of Obama on December 18, 2007. Experience was hardly his emphasis:
Burns said he liked Obama right off the bat and felt he could stamp out society's "creeping cynicism" with his "unironic posture."
"I have been attracted from the beginning to his authenticity," he said. With the country facing difficult times, he said, the nation needs "someone able to dream and suggest a future without being tied to the past."
He also said he appreciated Obama's stand against the war when other candidates supported it.
"I think this is a human being who knew in advance how unnecessary and foolish this war was," Burns said, adding that Obama knows how to distinguish between "fraudulent wars," and "those that really need to be fought."
Gough reported that Schieffer didn't take a stand like Burns did, but he did defend the national media's coverage of Palin after she was named McCain's running mate.
"Sarah Palin is a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency. The presidency is the most powerful office in the world," Schieffer said. "It seems to me that some would suggest we should just accept on faith that Sarah Palin is qualified."
Bob Schieffer is 71, so this assertion of frailty might sound a little strong. Conservatives weren't arguing that Palin's experience should be accepted "on faith," but that the Eastern elite media shouldn't rush to endorse instant Democrat judgment. Gough said Schieffer paid tribute to Palin and her remarkable and compelling life story but insisted that the media didn't mistreat her.
Burns has been worshipping black folks for his entire career. He’s got a “thing” for them that seems unsavory to me.
I always look to Ken Burns for my political analysis!
Ken Burns????? Wasn’t he the guy that played on “Mama’s Place” and “Mayberry RFD” ?
please go back to making those sappy manipulative “documentaries” with actor voice overs and cheezy music. As a student of history you should damn well know that an electorate often votes from the gut, and Palin has this “authenticity” you speak of in spades....
Make one somewhat decent documentary 20 years ago and now were stuck with this idiot.
If there ever was an Americon Idol pick, Obama is IT!
What a shame, now I’m going to have to dump my Ken Burns Civil War series into the trash. Oh well, it was on VCR tape anyway.
Another member-in-good-standing of the lefty borg. He’s a little late to the party, but what the hell...
Obama is just like most Entertainment people: totally hollow on the inside.
Taxpayer parasite/mega-liar Burns has bigger menstrual periods than Palin.
I am so sick of these elitists. Look at the mess these Washington parasites have gotten our financial markets into. They have become a corrupt and dangerous ruling class. I believe I am more qualified than most of them to run D.C. and I Palin is more qualified than me. I wish I could vote for her for President.
Ken, you threw away your credibility when you left the anti-abortion views of Susan B. Anthony et al. out of your “Not For Ourselves Alone” faux-feminist documentary. It was about as honest as leaving slavery out of your Civil War series would have been.
Here’s twenty bucks, Ken. Get a real haircut.
“... Palin has this authenticity you speak of in spades....”
Turning the proper phrase is an art. Well done.
I challenge the obama people to give me a list of all the previous candidates that he is MORE qualified than.
Ken Burns is a government TV star.
I think Ken is a little sore his peacenik depiction of WWII ..”The War” went over like a lead balloon and got no ratings. I think even the DVDs sit next The Wiggles take Manhattan in the 5 dollar bin.
This vile little twerp won himself a place on my avoid-list after he ruined what could have been a perfectly good video anthology of Major League Baseball when he couldn't restrain himself from constant moralizing.
You would think studying history would have given him some common sense. Failing that, he is truly a fool.
How sad that for most PBS Stations, the late Summer Pledge period just ended.
This sort of statement really would have kicked up the donations. The biggest take PBS ever had was when the Republicans took over Congress in 1994 and threatened to cut off all Federal funding for CPB.
well this part is true
it is amazing that Kennedy has avoided prosecution all these years and keeps getting re-elected
Just a big gangly kid with a daddy who had big bucks....made in the oil business...living in Kenya...in a Mansion...with servants...doing coke as he grew wiser...never answering to anyone....doing Community Service like Jesse and Al (it worked for them)...etc, etc, etc....
I think he must be talking about NObama here.
But I bet Ken Burns does not know that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was our first great television president.
Can’t have it both ways Ken, you idiot. How can she be the “American Idol pick” when all the dems wh otrash her say nobody’s ever heard of her before?
and what was Biden’s selection, hmmmm????? hahahahaha
As if there was an doubt of the bias in his Civil War production.
“in the whole history of the republic there has been no one with as thin a credential” ..................... There is one with an even thinner credential but he’s running for President?
Ah, Ken, did you even consider the shallow resume of Barack Obama? Community organizer with no accomplishments, state senator who voted three times for a bill legalizing infanticide, now a Jr Senator from Illinois who started running for President right after being sworn in as Senator. This is just ludicrous. Sarah Palin is the GOVERNOR of Alaska and she is running for VICE PRESIDENT, Ken.
Yes, it is amazing that a man could commit what amounts to, at the least, manslaughter, and be re-elected year after year to the Senate. He walked away from that girl, he didn’t even try to save her, and he got rewarded with a seat as Senator. Just like Sheets Byrd, the former KKK Grand Dragon or whatever they’re called, being re-elected time after time. Defending Clinton’s sexual harassment and lies under oath. I do not understand Democrats at all.
Trent Lott makes an innocuous remark at an old man’s party, and is pilloried from his post, and Republicans don’t make a peep. They’re wrong for what they do, and we’re wrong for letting them hold us to a different standard.
It looked okay when Steve Perry wore it back in 1978. Now, not so much.
(Ken Burns used a New York panel discussion preceding the news and documentary Emmy Awards as a forum to denounce the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, as proof the selection process devolved “into a high school popularity contest and an American Idol competition” and insisted “in the whole history of the republic there has been no one with as thin a credential” as Palin.)
So this idiot does not know that Barack Obama is running for President? I mean speak about someone with no accomplishment or credential........
Nothing worse than a dope who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. A comment like this from someone who will vote for The Fraud , with ZERO qualifications to be PRESIDENT!!!!!
He is a black wanna be.
You don’t make it big on PBS without being a dyed-in-the-wool commie propaganda artist.
(taking a bow)
he he he
Oh the ‘rats ate it up when their candidate was being treated like an “American Idol” rock star celebrity, but now that the we have Palin, and she has the charisma and the mojo, they want to get all worried about “gravitas”. Their usual hypocrisy, same as ever.
First thing tomorrow, I go right down to my barbershop and get rid of this Ken Burns signature bowl-cut hairstyle I've been sporting since "The Civil War' appeared on PBS all those years ago...
Ken Burns seems to believe in private profits and social losses.
But he was a community organiser, dammit! And so were our Founding Fathers! (Saw that one on DU)
Ken, go back to Springfield. Mr. Burns is retiring Homer and he needs a replacement....and get a decent haircut.
Burns is one of the elites who knows what is best for all of us. He should be listened to and his views should not be questioned by any of you. Just who do you think you are??
Don’t you know any better than to leave well-enough alone? What is your problem? As far as I’m concerned, Burns can eat cow manure and die, but....that’s just me! ~:o )
But he was a community organiser, dammit! ......................... Well yeah, that’s an important job too. The same can be said of Stalin, Mao, Fidel, Hitler, et.al.